The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a fresh order on Sunday, March 29, 2020 asking the employers to pay wages to their workers, without any deduction during the period of lockdown.
The order also directs landlord not to receive rent for a period of one month from workers including migrant workers as well.
“All the employees, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages of their workers, at their work places, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown", read the Order.
"If any landlord is forcing laborer’s and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the [Disaster Management] Act", the order stated.
It also urges states to provide food and shelter to thousands of migrant workers who are without jobs and essentials amid the ongoing lockdown. The MHA order also instructs states to enforce a 14-day quarantine on workers who have left for their hometowns.
"The migrant people who have moved out to reach to their home states/home towns must be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective state/union territory government quarantine facilities after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days," it adds.
A large number of migrant workers are stranded in big cities after the government announced a 21-day lockdown which ends on April 14. Unable to find any means of transport, many such migrant workers have stepped out on national highways to walk to their villages hundreds of kilometers away.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has authorized states to use state disaster response funds for relief measures for migrant workers during the lockdown, according to a home ministry statement.
With the intent of the Modi government to provide all possible support to migrant workers, the Union home secretary has "again written to all states requesting them to immediately set up relief camps for migrant workers, pilgrims etc., who are returning to their domicile states or trying to do so during this lockdown period".
States have been advised to give wide publicity and create awareness, using public address systems and utilizing services of volunteers and NGOs, on the facilities being offered to migrant workers, the home ministry statement said.
The information that is to be given include location of the relief camps and the facilities being made available, relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and measures being taken by state governments.
Author: Aarya Mishra